In a county clash, Hampton came out on top in a win-or-go-home situation.
The Lady Bulldogs outlasted the Lady ‘Landers for a 56-38 victory in the Region 1-A Girls Semifinals on Monday night at West Ridge.
With the win, Hampton advances to Wednesday’s Region 1-A Championship game against the winner of the North Greene and Unaka contest and also secured a spot in Saturday’s sectional round. Cloudland’s season came to a close with the loss.
It was a heavyweight battle from the start.
Linsey Jenkins and Macy Henry opened the scoring for Hampton, and Madi McClain hit a 3-pointer to counter a Cloudland bucket by Ella Benfield to give Hampton a 7-2 lead.
The teams traded a pair of runs as Makenzie Street and Benfield closed CHS within one point, but McClain hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Hampton a 14-10 advantage at the end of the quarter.
The Lady ‘Landers battled back once again to open the second as Benfield and Ryan Turbyfill hit shots to close the gap. Taylor Berry, however, took over as she scored seven points to end the quarter, but Benfield ended the half with a bucket to close the Lady ‘Landers within 28-22 at the half.
After Benfield hit a free throw to open the third quarter, Berry reeled off the next nine points for the Lady Bulldogs, while Piper Helle drained a shot to push the lead to 16 midway through the quarter.
Cloudland snapped the run with free throws from Street and Regan Blair, but the Lady Bulldogs scored four straight to end the quarter to take a 43-26 lead after the third.
In the fourth quarter, the Lady ‘Landers continued to battle, but Hampton was able to keep CHS from mounting a rally.
Berry led Hampton as she finished with 24 points, while McClain had 17 points. Helle and Henry had five points apiece.
Cloudland’s Benfield had 18 points to pace the Lady ‘Landers. Blair finished with 11 points, while Turbyfill and Street had five and four points, respectively.
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